Herbalife Backer Bill Stiritz Reduces Stake in Nutrition Company

Bill Stiritz, a high-profile backer of Herbalife Ltd. during its three-year battle with billionaire Bill Ackman, reduced his stake in the nutrition company last quarter.

Stiritz, a food-industry veteran who previously served as chief executive officer of Post Holdings Inc., owned 4.78 million Herbalife shares as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday. That represents a stake of 5.2 percent, including options to purchase shares. The investor had previously reported holdings of 8.2 percent.

Though Stiritz would still rank as one of Herbalife’s biggest shareholders, he follows billionaire George Soros in dialing back an investment in the embattled company. Soros Fund Management LLC acquired 4.9 percent of Herbalife in 2013, but as of last year, that firm no longer reported owning a stake.

Ackman, who disclosed a $1 billion bet against Herbalife at the end of 2012, has accused the company of being a pyramid scheme. While Herbalife has repeatedly denied Ackman’s accusations, his campaign led to probes by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement.

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